Parenting is a humbling experience for two reasons: You quickly realize how little prepared you are for the most important job you’ll ever have, and – if you’re lucky as I’ve been, knock on wood – you are constantly amazed by your children. My super 16-year-old daughter, for example, is an uber-organized, straight-A student, a soccer star, an artistic and analytical thinker and, for the most part, a really fun person to be around. In fact, the only thing I could criticize her about (albeit I was the one to blame) was her diet, which largely consisted of Kraft mac and cheese, breaded chicken fingers, microwave popcorn and breakfast cereal.
Emphasis on the past tense, though, as I’m proud of her for recently incorporating healthier choices in her diet and paying more attention to food labels and ingredients. Super Sixteen has become savvier about the food industry, too, educating herself on the stuff in processed foods that make them more sugary, salty and fatty. In other words, hard to resist.
Sixteen’s dietary changes have led us to try new foods, such as quinoa chips and a papaya that, regrettably, we let ripen a bit too long. The newest item in our fruit bowl are mangos, which are available year-round. Clinton Kelly, co-host of TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” says you should use them to “mangover” your meals. His useful tips for the fruit include considering it a “fun departure” from fruits like bananas and pineapple; using it in dishes in which you otherwise would use a tomato; and preparing it on the grill.
Below is a quick and easy relish that uses this tangy fruit. I’ve eaten it on cabbage leaves and combined with crabmeat for a different kind of fish taco.
Thai mango relish
From the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
- 2 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup Thai sweet chile sauce
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 radish, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile oil
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Serve chilled.